Co-signing
Marriage
Human Behavior

If you are married and want to cosign for someone can your spouse stop you?

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2011-09-12 21:44:17
2011-09-12 21:44:17

In most states the assets and liabilities of both parties in a marriage are shared equally. The exception to this is the assets or liabilities that are owned/owed prior to the marriage. This rule does now however reach as far as loans established by a third party as such. Co-signing a loan has an adverse affect on the co-signer ONLY if the principle borrower of the loan defaults on the loan. If the loan is paid off, the co-signer is off the hook. Co-signing loans have no benefit whatsoever for the co-signer but they bear all the risks. Your credit score will not be improved for a payed off loan but would be affected negatively should the loan be defaulted on. Also, if you are the co-signer on a loan and then apply for a loan for yourself (and your spouse) your overall credit worthiness will be reduced by the amount of the co-signed loan, after all you are responsible or that loan should the other party default. For example, let say that you want to buy a house and looking to get a loan for $150,000. As of today the bank looks at your 'credit worthiness' and decides that you qualify for $155,000. Now, if you co-signed a loan for say $15,000 for someone else, and the banker was to examine your 'credit worthiness' that amount would be reduced to $140,00 and not be enough to purchase the home. Co-signers get no benefit but take all the risks.

So... can your spouse stop you? No. Does your decision to co-sign affect the finacials of your marriage? Yes. Could you become responsible for the loan and therefore it could impact your ability to pay your own bills? Yes. If the person who you are co-signing for was not a bad risk, then they wouldn't need a co-signer. Should any decision that you make that could have a negative impact, with no positive outcome possible, be made with out agreement between you and your spouse? I would think not.

Should the borrower default on the loan and your financial status was negatively affected, would your marriage surrive that kind of stress? And, do you want to put that kind of stress on your marriage?

Good luck.

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